You’ve been in the blogging business for a while now, have figured out WordPress, got to grips with CPanel, and have even worked out what the heck an alt tag is.
The next question is, how do you become one of the best blog sites in a sea of millions of blogs and billions of blog posts?
To help you get your head in the game it’s important to realize, that out of all the millions of blogs currently online, most of their owners (your competition) have already given up and packed it in.
Their blog is a derelict and only around for as long as it takes the hosting to expire. The discarded blogs offer little value and are therefore of no significance to Google or the visitors who happen to stumble upon them.
However, knowing that most of your competition has taken their bat and ball and gone home is no reason to take it easy. The 10% who are sticking it out still need to be dealt with, but how do you do that?
Put simply, your journey to being one of the best blog sites is to produce content. You also need to make sure that whatever you publish is the best the web has to offer. Read on to find out how you can do all that and more.
Researching Your Content
You’re well aware that your next article is going to require research, but you should first start with finding out who else has published within your niche, and what your audience is typing into the search engines to find it.
- Keyword Research
Keyword research is all about discovering how to reach your audience and is an excellent source for article ideas.
The Google Keyword Planner is a fantastic tool for learning what your audience wants to know – especially when you don’t have the budget to spring for more advanced keyword research software.
Start with a broad phrase. Eliminate the keywords from the results which don’t seem relevant to your subject matter, and also discard keywords which have limited search volume.
Unless you stand to make a gazillion dollars out of the post, there’s no point in ranking for a keyword if only one person a year searches for that phrase.
You also don’t want to target keywords which have fierce competition – especially when you first start.
It can be challenging to find the middle ground between potential traffic and acceptable competition, but it’s better to spend the time now rather than waste hours writing a post that won’t work for you.
- Research the Competition
Once you know which keywords show the most promise, it’s time to type those phrases into the search engines and review the content that has previously been published.
How detailed are each of the articles? Could you increase value by adding more detail, or discussing something the other authors have neglected to mention?
The days of the quick and dirty 500-word blog post are over. Your visitors want detail and lots of it.
They want your content to make a real difference in their lives and making sure your content delivers the best way to gain Google’s favor by far.
Find Your Angle
You will be fighting an uphill battle if you compete with lead content producers on their terms. Instead, try to find a different angle they may not have considered. Let’s say you’re passionate about vegetarian cooking.
You could write article after article about the various recipes for vegetarians, but that’s what everybody else is doing. What about the challenges faced by vegetarians?
They might appreciate a guide on how to create a meal-plan that the whole family will be happy with, or how to shop for vegetarian meals on a budget with a seasonal list of vegetables.
You could also delve into how vegetarianism could be part of the solution to save the world, or how meat consumption may be the cause for various types of cancer.
You have your popular keyword phrases; the numbers are good, but the competition isn’t that great. You have also found the perfect approach for the article, so now it’s time to start banging the keys.
Don’t be afraid to use your competitor’s blog as a guide, but a guide only. You don’t want to be producing the same information using different words.
You want your content to stand apart by offering real value your readers won’t get anywhere else.
Always link to relevant research with proper citations, so your visitors know you aren’t making stuff up to sound like an expert. Sometimes people check these things.
As you write the post, be sure to sprinkle the keywords throughout the article while keeping the flow logical and natural. Consider other phrases people might be searching with to find your article.
These are called LSI (latent semantic index) keywords. LSI keywords are usually longer phrases and are much easier to rank.
If you can get 10 or 20 more visitors each month from an LSI keyword, it will improve the potential of the article – especially if you manage to rank the same article for 4 or 5 LSI keywords.
Make your content more appealing with a few attractive and well-placed images. For best results, you will want to have taken your own original photographs.
If you’re not much of a photographer, you can always use stock photo sites, but these can get expensive. Also, be sure to include an alt tag with your image for SEO purposes.
Publish and Promote
When you have finished your article, and it’s now live, your job is not yet complete. It will take a while for the search engines to crawl your site and find your post, but until that happens, it likely won’t get much traffic.
You will need to start promoting your post in as many places as you can find or afford.
Twitter and Facebook are a good starting point and are free, but if you have started building your email list, you can also let your audience know about your content as soon as it’s published.
It’s worth noting here that promoting your content is the single most time-consuming aspect of a blogger’s life, and you will probably spend more time marketing your blog than writing posts.
Google is continuously raising the bar on what it considers to be good content.
You can look on this as a bad thing, but the truth is that if you can consistently create high-quality content that your readers and Google love, then Google is doing you a favor by pushing out the competition.
Making sure your content gets over the bar is the best way to ensure you have one the best blog sites on the internet.